PORTRAIT OF DR LULU HUNT PETERS (1923 PRESS PHOTO OF THE PIONEER DIET DOCTOR)

This press photo features Lulu Hunt Peters (1873-1930), an American doctor and diet expert. She began by writing a featured newspaper column entitled “Diet and Health”. Her column appeared in more than 400 newspapers around the United States. She then wrote a book entitled “Diet & Health: With Key to the Calories” (1918). Dr Peters was the first person to popularize counting calories as a method of weight loss. She educated her readers about the concept of calories and urged them to think of food in terms of calories.  In other words, women should say “I ate 100 calories of bread” and not say “I ate a slice of bread”. Peters also taught her readers how to calculate their ideal weight. Peters maintained a strict diet of 1200 calories a day. Her book was the first weight-loss book to become a best seller. It was among the top ten selling non fiction books from 1922 through 1926. In 1918 the book sold two million copies, and spread the word that “thin is in”. Amazingly, Peters nine year-old nephew was the books illustrator. Peters was born in Maine and moved to California. She received her MD in 1909 from the University of California (Berkeley). Dr. Peters was very aware of obesity having grown up with a weight problem when at one point, she reached 220 pounds. Interestingly, during World War I, Peters considered her diet solution to be a form of patriotism. She viewed dieting as absolute self control and suggested that women organize “Watch Your Weight Anti-Kaiser Classes” to reach their goal weights. In addition, Peters believed that dieting would make war rationing easier and leave left over rations for children. Dr. Peters also supported the suffragist movement. She believed women needed to take better care of their health, exercise, and become more self-sufficient. It is clear that there were some problems associated with Dr Peters weight loss philosophy. Coupled with the fashion industry of that era, the communicated message was that all women should strive to be thin. Dieting was equated with being beautiful and having self esteem. Peters also believed that people who lacked self control over their weight were exhibiting poor morals. She contended that to be thin, women must be strong enough to resist temptation which she described using concepts such as sin, punishment, and redemption. After publishing her book, Peters went to Bosnia where she worked with the Red Cross. Dr Peters book remains in circulation today. In many ways she deserves credit for being a pioneer in the weight loss industry. On the other hand, she also advocated a philosophy that creates shame for those that are overweight, and worse yet, spawns eating disorders.

 

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Published in: on May 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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CROWN PRINCE WILHELM AND PRINCESS CECILIE OF GERMANY (PRESS PHOTO)

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This vintage press photograph features Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife, Crown Princess Cecilie. The photo was taken by George Grantham Bain in 1915 and it likely appeared in a number of newspapers.Some readers may be wondering about these Royals. Who are these people? Prince Wilhelm (1882-1951) was the last Crown Prince of Prussia and the German Empire. He married Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1886-1954) in 1905. The pair’s marriage wasn’t rock solid. The Crown Prince had affairs with both American opera singer Geraldine Farrar and dancer Mata Hari. The photographer of this photograph was a pioneer news photographer. George Grantham Bain (1865-1944) was a New York City photographer known as “the father of photographic news”. He was a chemistry graduate of St Louis University and also received a law degree there. He then became a reporter for two St. Louis newspapers in succession and one of his assignments was Washington DC correspondent. He then worked for United Press International and in 1898 started the Bain News Service. Forty thousand of Bain’s glass negatives are in the collection of the Library of Congress. This vintage press photo was published by the Bain News Service.
220px-Ggbain                                                 Photo of George Grantham Bain

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A FRENCH BEAUTY QUEEN IN PARIS: MLLE HENRIETTE POINTAL (1933 PRESS PHOTO)

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This vintage press photo features a beauty queen and her maids of honor. They participated in a Paris beauty contest in 1933. The three finalists are wearing furs and tiaras. The woman in the center, Mle Henriette Pointal was selected as the “Queen of Paris”. The 20 year old beauty was received, as was custom, by the President, Albert François Lebrun , at the Elysee Palace at the opening of the Mi-Careme festivities. This press photo was the property of the “Agence ROL”. The news agency was founded in 1904 by Marcel Rol (1876-1905).

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Published in: on February 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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